Key takeaways from the 2021 TribalNet Conference and Tradeshow

Key takeaways from the 2021 TribalNet Conference and Tradeshow

The 22nd annual TribalNet Conference and Tradeshow was held November 8–11 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. This year’s conference was a great opportunity for tribal leaders and executives to gather in person for the first time in more than a year to share experiences and talk about the challenges encountered since the start of the pandemic.

“TribalNet really brings people together. With so many tribes being far away from metropolitan areas, it’s not easy to have these important conversations face to face, and you really don’t get the same overall experience with a virtual conference.” Derek Ferguson, Lenovo Digital Workplace Guru

The conference tracks covered a wide range of topics, including tribal gaming and hospitality technology, health information management, workforce strategy, and leadership, but there was an underlying theme in many of the sessions and discussions — managing operations in a hybrid/work-from-anywhere world.

The hybrid challenge
For many tribal-led organizations, the shift to remote work was a significant undertaking. With the majority of workers previously employed onsite with desktop devices, their IT leaders had to shift to a laptop-based fleet, which was not only difficult with the global supply chain issues in play, but also put an additional strain on internal IT teams.

Supporting a newly remote workforce means fewer IT resources are available to focus on core infrastructure technology projects and digital transformation. Several sessions at the conference focused on the opportunity for outsourcing. From outsourcing day-to-day services like help desk support to bringing in a Device as a Service (DaaS) solution to take provisioning, deployment, and lifecycle management off the shoulders of internal IT teams, there are many ways tribes can maximize the efficiency of their IT resources.

Outsourcing can also help with another challenge attendees voiced at the conference —retaining skilled employees. By outsourcing mundane tasks, employees can focus on more interesting and challenging projects that are core to operations. “As a Service” programs may also reduce the need for attracting and hiring new talent, as the investment in one employee’s salary can be used to bring in an entire company focused on delivering value to the organization.

You can learn more about Lenovo Managed Services solutions here.

Securing a hybrid workforce
Security was a big topic at the conference as attendees from around the country faced increased threats on the expanded attack surface presented by remote workers. Ransomware was a particularly hot topic — many tribes learned they might not be as prepared as they thought to handle an attack after hearing about one IT team’s experience and the impact a ransomware attack had on their organization.

In addition to ensuring robust endpoint security, several sessions covered the importance of developing security policies and procedures that could be applied organization-wide, from front-line workers to the C-suite, including the adoption of Zero Trust networks.

See how Lenovo’s ThinkShield security solutions incorporate a multilayered defense here.

Supporting hybrid collaboration
The shift to remote and hybrid working environments has also brought renewed focus to the topic of collaboration. With many of their subject matter experts working offsite, tribes expressed the need to bring greater productivity and effectiveness to collaboration sessions in their organizations.

This was especially true for solving complex technology challenges. Software and hardware specialists need the right tools and features to help them collaborate effectively when they’re not all in the same room. Beyond shared whiteboards and collaborative documents, the right collaboration technology can improve the overall experience and ensure every participant can contribute.

A partner for the hybrid future
As the #1 PC manufacturer in the world, a trusted partner for government and enterprise customers alike, and a Platinum Sponsor of the TribalNet Conference and Tradeshow, Lenovo is supporting IT teams across the country through the shift to hybrid work environments. In addition to a broad portfolio of award-winning devices, we have a wide range of managed services options that can empower tribal IT teams and organizations.

You can learn more about what makes Lenovo the right choice at

Your hybrid workforce checklist
Supporting a hybrid workforce requires a multifaceted approach to ensure your employees and your IT staff can remain focused and productive, no matter where they’re working. Here are a few things to consider in your organization.

  • Ensure your workforce has the right technology for the job. Technology plays a key role in creating a positive employee experience. Transitioning to work outside the organization isn’t as simple as handing out laptops. Employees need the right supporting technology to stay productive, which can include keyboards/mice, monitors, noise-canceling headphones, and docking solutions.
  • Consider outsourcing day-to-day support services. Calculate all the time your team spends provisioning, deploying, updating/patching OS and software, troubleshooting hardware or software issues, and resolving security incidents. Any or all of these functions can be easily outsourced.
  • Review security policies and practices across the board. Does your organization have a plan for meeting evolving cyberthreats? Endpoint security, employee training, and incident response policies all play a role in protecting your organization and its data.
  • Enable smarter hybrid collaboration. Providing technology that enables remote participants to contribute effectively can boost productivity and engagement and support employee retention.

Contact us today to learn more about how Lenovo can help your organization manage the transition to hybrid work.